tv International Programming CSPAN November 2, 2011 7:00am-7:30am EDT
obama, and bill clinton. >> that would be a great question to answer. [laughter] up there with who you love more, mom or dad? greta and your answer to that question is? >> my answer to that question is that i have lived a charmed life as a progressive policy wonk. the privilege i have had to work for people who are of such intelligence and commitment. that is not to say that there are not other people who would be great leaders to work for, but all of them were so intelligent, so thoughtful, so interested in the details of public policy. when i was asked about ron
barack's book about obama, i was so upset about the thesis that he was being dragged along by others. i sat in march in a six-hour meeting in the roosevelt room on whether we should go forward with our stress test. the fact that the economic team did not totally agree to meant that the president had to sit there at the most complex financial issues imaginable and go back and forth quizzing some of the top economists and financial experts in the world and then making what ultimately proved to be a very wise call. that is not something you can do without both an enormous amount of intelligence, without you being the one who was running the show, often because you're economic advisers will be divided at times and you have to make the call.
>> as you brief him every day, who sits in that meeting? >> we spent quite a bit of time with him, but sometimes it fluctuates. the budget negotiations with speaker baiting -- speaker boehner, it was almost a role in meeting. if we send him for -- we send him economic update each and every day on quite a variety of issues. >> the does he handle the economic issues as well as or better than bill clinton? >> [laughter] rahn told me at the very
beginning not to ever take clinton versus obama questions. there's nothing to be gained from those. they are both very smart policy people, trained as lawyers, who i think come to expect as i would, and probably you as well. who i think, added from a very discerning position. -- come at it from a very discerning position. they come at it from a year high understanding of economics, but also -- a very high understanding of economics, but also with realism about what works and what will be perceived. you have to have a core of the guiding you when you make these decisions. when you are in that room and you have absolutely determined that the right thing to do is just going to be terrible politics and you decide to still
go forward. when the decision it was made on chrysler, i was part of the team in advocating strong weight to that. you could not argue to the president that this was politically popular at this time. it was not. you could not argue that the stress test, the financial rescue stabilization were politically popular. but each and every moment he did the right thing. he did the right thing for the economy knowing he would probably pay a political price for that, but it was the right thing to do. >> is the white house satisfied with the way the volcker role, as is proposed, are you in support of the regulatory proposal that is in front of the people? >> we obviously, in doing financial reform, we were very active in the legislation.
obviously, we do not control all of the regulations put out by independent regulators because they are independent. that said, i think we looked at the ball rolled off, as he noted later, it was released 35 -- the volcker rule, as he noted later, it was really 35 pages. the rest was commentary. and i think the basic t, the basic purpose, the basic goals are in place. >> are you satisfied with the occupied wall street movement? do you have any comments on that movement? >> i think the frustration those people face, i think they see what was historic effort to stabilize our financial system. they, like us, are still unsatisfied with the state of the economy and feel a sense of
unfairness in how the economy has rewarded the different segments of the public, not just in the past couple of years, but in the last 10 or 12 years. i think we understand that. i cannot try to say that i can say much more, other than i think our goal always has to focus on what the tangible elements that we can do. i feel bad i cannot any more than you -- i do not have any better insight than the people here as to the media and the exact composition and the exact issues are, but i will say that
we are putting forward tangible, real choices for people. we are asking for a jobs out -- jobs act that does ask for compensation from the most fortunate among us. if jobs at that we feel will put people back to work and make them feel -- a jobs act that we feel will put people back to work and make them feel the economy is working again. for mortgage refinancing and student loans, we're going to take up those issues, too.
but what do you think the chances are there will be a sequestration? in other words, that the super committee will not come to any resolutions? >> as i say to people, i might know.ow -- i don't it was the joke about somebody that it's more educated they do not know, but at a higher level of sophistication i would say that i am probably more informed than the average person. but i still think is very difficult to predict. i think the good news is that i think that particularly, you have seen many democratic leaders much more open to being part of a grand bargain. over the last year, a lot with the leadership of president obama, he has been much more open to taking on difficult
issues on medicare and other entitlements from democrats if they can be part of a grand bargain. i think there are republicans who want to be part of the grand bargain, who understand intellectually that, of course, you can get serious, fair, sustainable agreement. but unfortunately, even those who feel that way, and i think speaker brainard did for a time , -- speaker boehner did for a time, they are blocked. you have to hope that the public message, that that people still care about what the public says. they overwhelmingly support balance. they overwhelmingly want us to work together. they overwhelmingly do not want either of us to take absolutist positions. i just have to hope that over time, that will force an agreement. and i will say that having lived
here and having been part of the white house in 1995, when things seemed pretty died in october and november of 1995 when we had to shut down. but three months later, president clinton and bob dole were sitting in the oval office at trying to balance out -- hammer out a balanced budget agreement. i still believe things can turn. i am still hopeful. every day, i talked to -- not every day, but often enough i talk with rising republicans in positions of responsibility who want to be part of a solution. i think they have to be willing to overcome the opposition and their party in the same way that president obama was willing to help move his party to move toward a grand compromise.
>> does the president support you in supporting operation twist? >> on the -- on that, the clinton economic team, the obama economic team, we respect them both, so we do not comment on whether we supported or not. and we think that is a hallmark of our system. we, as an economic team, often talk to the federal reserve and to the chairman about policy issues. i meet with him once a month. tim geithner meet with him more often than that. he does come in and we have small meetings with him on the president. i think what we try to do is make sure we are using their expertise, make sure we are consulting with them on issues like housing, make sure that the
chairman has a chance to speak to the president to tell him his views. but on the other hand, always make sure that we keep the line clear that they are independent and that we are not seeking to influence them in any way. >> what about the so-called belen chinese tariffs? with the president veto that bill or signing it becomes in its current form? -- or sign it if it comes in its current form? >> i think we share the aspiration of that bill to try to create a more level playing field between us and china. there is little question that their currency is not determined by market forces. and that puts our workers and companies at an unfair disadvantage.
we have said that if the bill is moving forward we want to make sure it is consistent with our international obligations. we had some concerns in those areas and would want them to be fixed. but i do not think there is any question that there are challenges in our relationship, economic relationship in terms of a level playing field. and within our international obligations, that is something that we, as a country, need to address more. >> let me ask you a final question. if the president is reelected, would you expect to serve another four years, and you would be 16 years in democratic administrations -- do you have that much energy left? >> your questions to seem almost to be a seminar of what questions should not be asked.
hypothetical and personal hypothetical. >> you are very good at avoiding the direct answer. [laughter] but hope springs eternal that you might slip. [laughter] >> i am obviously not going to answer the question. >> do you still enjoy what you are doing? >> i feel so privileged. i mean, to be able to have this position as national economic adviser for two great presidents, two democratic presidents in my lifetime is one i take enormously seriously. i feel incredibly privilege, but also just in the enormous sense of the responsibility, knowing that you can be involved in choices that if done correctly, you can improve people's lives and choices that is done poorly,
can have negative consequences. as a personal matter, it is a different experience. my last time i was there i was single. i could be there every day, seven days a week. i now have two kids at home. thank god for technology that allows you on weekends to stay home. but unquestionably, at 52 years old and two kids at home, you have to keep a greater balance in your life at this point. i had to blow off a meeting today to go to a halloween parade with my 5-year-old. >> was that a meeting with the president? >> [laughter] it was not with the president. that would have been a tougher one, but i think he would have very much respected that choice. life is much happier being married with two children, but it does require constant choices and balance in a way that i
think makes my life roger, but does not allow -- richer, but does not allow the 100 hour weeks that both you and i have done at different times in our lives. >> thank you very much for the interview. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
>> now house speaker john van on the economy and jobs. he spoke monday at the university of louisville, and was introduced by kentucky senator mitch mcconnell. this is 40 minutes. [applause] >> some of my equipment is falling off here.lling well, thank you for an overly generous introduction. at the risk of sound like a mutual admiration, let me thank you for the extraordinary, let transformation that has occurred here during her tenure. ten been a slowly spectacular, has it not?ur not?
[applause] hd this center started before craig hodges but you could hardly recognize before and after. you have been absolutely superb, thank you for your leadership. toy,lause] celeated, as gary indicated, we celebrate the first. this is the first time in the 2r year history of the center that we have had a sitting speaker og the u.s. house of representatives. that's the second in line to tht presidency, right after the vice president, and one of the few t congressional offices mecifically mentioned in the constitution, the speaker of the house plays aho uniquely importa role on capitol hill. and our guest today has pformed performed exceptionally well.e y this is a moment of great challenges for our country. are
what -- are looking for work. here in kentucky is one of 10. spending and borrowing by the federal government, which has exploded in recent years, is catching up with us. and for the first time ever, america has suffered a downgrade of its once pristine credit rating. but history has a way of giving america the leaders it needs in such moments, and speaker banner is one of those leaders. john boehner knows the struggles that small businesses face because he once faced them himself. growing up across the river in ohio, he worked at his dad's tavern, a place called andy's café. the mop the floors, waited tables, tended bar. he put himself through college working odd jobs and night shifts. he tarred roofs, refereed kids
in sports teams, drove tractors, and worked as a nice gesture. through hard work, he put himself through school and graduate from college -- and became the first member of this family to graduate from college. he ran a company that represented manufacturers in the packaging and plastics industry. they had only a few clients, and the company was barely hanging on when the order passed away. john took over and suddenly found himself the president of a struggling small-business and he turned it around. along the way, john learned a lot of important lessons. he learned how to meet a payroll. he learned what it means to go -- to wrestle with government red tape, and most of all, what it takes to create jobs. john learned that it is the hard work of the men and women in america's private sector, not government spending, that drives
this economy. he learned we must look to the private sector to grow, and to create opportunity. john boehner is a small businessman had a hard to, and despite -- at heart, and despite a sending to the highest congressional office, i'm sure he would tell you he will always be a small businessman at heart. in the house to work alongside the ghost of one of my -- my heroes, henry clay. he used the office to his dovish the house of representatives as the body closest to that -- to establish the house of representatives as the articles as to the people and to make clear their will. john leads a new house of representatives today that he pledged would reflect the will of the people, focused and determined to put our nation's broken fiscal house back in
order. and in the 10 months he's been at the helm, john has made good on that promise. for the 100th of congress, the right man has met his moment. -- the 112th conagra's, the right man has met his moment. ladies and gentlemen, to join me in welcoming the speaker of the house. [applause] >> good morning, everyone. [applause] thank you. [applause] well, good morning, and happy halloween. i want to start by thanking senator mcconnell both for his french and for the honor of being invited here today to address this impressive institution here in the bluegrass state. senator mcconnell and i spend an
awful lot of time together and i could not be blessed with a better partner. he is a man of integrity and one of the best legislators that i have ever worked with. i am truly grateful for his friendship and for our partnership, and i'm deeply honored that he asked me to, and be with all of you here today. i also want to thank our host, dr. ramsey, the president of the university, and dr. greg of the mcconnell center, who happen to get his doctorate from the university of ohio, which is located in my district. also, senator mcconnell told you a little bit about me growing up, a big family and working around the tavern. the lessons i learned growing up are the lessons i need to do my job every day. we learned to get things done together as a family.
if you grow up around a bar mopping floors, washing dishes, waiting tables, tending bar, you have to learn to deal with every character walking through the door. trust me, i need all of those skills to do my job. [laughter] but i am a product of the free enterprise system and i was one of the millions of small business people and around the country who make our economy grow. i got involved with the government because i saw politicians killing the goose that lays the golden egg. and that is, our free enterprise system. i decided i would do something about it and ended up running for office. trust me, i never thought i would end up being speaker of the house. but the things that drive me to get into this business are the same things that drive me today.
as a small-business person, i thought government was too big, i thought they spent too much, and i did not think it was holding it accountable. i do not see it as one bit different than the first day i walked into the u.s. congress almost 29 years ago. today, i speak to all of you at a time of great challenge for our country, and frankly, our country's economy. and whether you are one of the students at the mcconnell center, where one of the thousands of students that pass through these doors every year, the condition of our economy is something that millions of young americans are facing today. the unemployment rate is stuck at just over 9%. we had a national debt that exceeds, or nearly exceed, the entire size of our economy. in millions of americans are out of work. because of government's seeming inability to focus on these
challenges, it is also when conference -- confidence in our government institutions is at an all-time low. i have been speaker of the house for nearly a year. it is more clear to me that never what some of the obstacles are in washington. my message today is simple. i think that our government has never been high, but -- opinion of our government has never been high, but it does not need to be this low. the american people need to see that despite our differences, we can get things done. we need to start by recognizing that common ground and compromise are not the same thing. let me explain. common ground and compromise are commonly end -- and mistakenly looked at the same way. and i think it is done by both
sides of the ideological spectrum. i would prefer the term, and ground to compromise. i do believe there is -- common ground to compromise. i do believe there is a significant difference. the american people want leaders who will stand on principles and stick to those principles, who will keep their promises and fight for them. but i also believe equally that the american people expect us to get things done. they expect us to seek common ground and to act on it. common ground does not mean compromising on your principles. it means finding places where your agenda overlaps with that of the other party, locking arms and getting it done without violating your principles. it too often, a common ground and compromise are assumed to mean the same thing. as a result, we sometimes see
people with good intentions on both sides of the aisle operating out of an aversion to common ground because they do not want to be viewed as compromising on their principles. as a result, this mistake brings in less functional government and mistrust in our institutions of government. i do not think we can afford to let that happen. the jobs crisis demands that we seek common ground and act on it where it is found. we did that on the trade agreement the several weeks ago. the president signed a lease -- these three trade agreements into law that have been in the works for five years. these agreements will result in the creation of some 250,000 american jobs. they were enacted with bipartisan support and no one violated their principles to get things done. the same thing occurred just last week in the house on another jobs belbacha by diane
black of -- another jobs bill by diane blog of tennessee. imposes a 3% surtax on small businesses. the president passed it easily. in both of these cases, the trade bill and the irs bill, we found common ground and we acted on it. no one was compromising their principles. we were doing with the american people sent us to washington to do. and they want more of it. and i think we need to continue to focus on jobs. my colleagues and i have a plan for jobs and it has been our focus for this entire year. i gave a speech lacks -- last month at an economic forum in washington and i talked about the need to liberate our economy from the shackles of government. as a guy who ran a small business, i certainly believe that until we get away from